The Perseid Meteor Shower was forecast to peak about 0100 MST on 12 August 2009. A waning gibbous moon would interfere with seeing any faint meteors. But I made preparations to observe anyway and see how many meteors I could see. Unfortunately, the weather did not help the situation; it was forecast to be cloudy most of the night.
I decided to participate in the worldwide Twitter #meteorwatch party. Here are the tweets I posted 11-12 August. They provide a good summary of what I saw.
Another pretty AZ sunset. Due to clouds! ClearSkyChart forecast not good until sunrise. Will check the sky later tonight.
Here is a photo of the sunset and my new SkyShed POD observatory:
Sky check at 2125 MST in Arizona. Mostly cloudy, 1 small hole near zenith.
Sky check 2320 MST in AZ. Overcast, small hole at zenith. 30 seconds after going outside, saw fast moving Perseid thru hole!
2350 MST Arizona. Decided to stay outside for awhile. 100% cloud cover now, even moon is hidden. But it is 75F.
0015 MST. Hole in clouds by moon. Used SkyVoyager 1.2 on iPhone to locate where Perseus is behind clouds. Only 1 meteor so far.
0025 MST Arizona. Perseid meteor just above moon moving south. Short but bright.
0053 MST Arizona. Perseid M -2 (maybe) thru clouds in southeast moving south.
0137 MST Arizona. 73F. Perseus & the Pleiades visible thru hole in clouds. Lots of coyotes yipping for some reason.
0143 MST Arizona. Bright fast Perseid close to Perseus. Moving to east Left short trail.
0150 MST Arizona. M -5 (thru clouds) Perseid near Perseus, moving SW.
0215 MST Arizona. M -2 (thru clouds) moving NE from Perseus. Sky still mostly cloudy with some holes.
0225 MST Arizona. Perseid about M 0 near Perseus moving south.
That 0025 MST Perseid was about Mag -3.
Even though not using it while watching for meteors, it is neat to be sitting out here next to my new SkyShed POD observatory.
0247 MST Arizona. 72F. Mostly overcast now. Moon hidden.
0340 MST Arizona. Sky clearing! Moon very bright near zenith. Venus rose above hill to east. Maybe I'll see more Perseids.
0352 MST Arizona. Faint Perseid moving north.
0359 MST Arizona. Perseid moving south. Faint.
0404 MST Arizona. Nice Perseid moving southeast.
0408 MST Arizona. Orion climbing over hill to southeast. But rest of sky has now clouded over.
0420 MST AZ. Sky overcast. I'm done. Didn't see many Perseid meteors but it was fun being part of the 2009 Perseids #meteorwatch on Twitter!
I didn't try photographing any meteors due to the cloud cover. I may try again 12-13 August 2009, although the cloud forecast is essentially the same as it was for 11-12 August with the addition of some monsoon thunderstorms rolling through the area.
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